Former Tesla executive joins board of rival automaker GM

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FILE PHOTO: Logo of GM atop the company headquarters

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A former Tesla senior executive and chief operating officer at ride hailing company Lyft is joining General Motors board of directors.

The largest U.S. automaker said in statement on Tuesday Jonathan McNeill, 55, the co-founder and CEO of venture firm DVx Ventures has joined its board.

McNeill joined Tesla in 2015 where he was president, global sales, delivery and service and in 2017, McNeill assumed responsibility for government relations before he left in 2018 to join Lyft.

GM has vowed to end the sale of light-duty U.S. gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035 as it invests tens of billions in electric vehicles but significantly lags Tesla in U.S. EV sales.

GM CEO Mary Barra reiterated in August the automaker plans to surpass Tesla in EV sales by 2025.

GM expects to produce 1 million EVs annually in North America by end-2025.

McNeill’s “experience driving constructive disruption to grow businesses and his commitment to making a positive impact on society will be invaluable as we reimagine how our customers and communities move through the world,” Barra said in a statement.

GM said it is ramping up its electric vehicle assembly plans, hiking production of the EV Chevrolet Bolt and other vehicles.

McNeill said in the statement he was “excited to help GM unlock the opportunities enabled by its transformative investments in technology.”

McNeill previously co-founded Sterling Collision Centers, a company Tesla in 2015 said had reduced industry repair times by 90%.

GM’s board now has 13 directors including six women.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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